Indiana Gazette: Fabian named to chair Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission’s Board

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission board elected Armstrong County Commissioner Pat Fabian to chair that panel for the next two years.

Fabian was chosen along with Fayette County Commissioner Vince Vicites, who will be vice-chair of that board, and Greene County Commissioner Betsy McClure, who was chosen as secretary-treasurer.

A spokeswoman for the commission said the new officers will shape SPC’s work for the next several years and intend to focus on workforce and economic development, transportation planning, and other initiatives like investments in broadband, water resources, attracting business investments, and expanding pedestrian and bicycle trails throughout the region.

Fabian, who has a master’s degree in community counseling from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, spent more than 15 years as an outpatient and family therapist at the Family Counseling Center of Armstrong County before being elected as a county commissioner for the first time in 2016.

“I cannot wait to hit the ground running and serve the board in this leadership role,” Fabian said. “The entire region is well-positioned to work collectively as a team with one voice on major issues like job creation and broadband connectivity. While our approach to challenges may, at times, be different, we all have one goal — and that is to improve the overall quality of life for southwestern Pennsylvania’s residents.”

Fabian serves on the executive committee of the SPC board, as does Indiana County Commissioner Robin A. Gorman.

Both, in turn, are board members, with Indiana County also represented on that board by Commissioners R. Michael Keith and Sherene Hess, Indiana County Office of Planning & Development Executive Director Byron G. Stauffer Jr. and Indiana County Chamber of Commerce President Mark Hilliard.

SPC covers the city of Pittsburgh as well as Indiana, Armstrong, Westmoreland, Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence and Washington counties.

“Together, commissioners Fabian, Vicites and McClure make a dynamic team, and we are fortunate to have their leadership,” said Rich Fitzgerald, a former Allegheny County executive recently named SPC’s executive director. “Our organization functions as a consensus builder and we work in a collaborative manner in order to support the needs of the entire region. We bring entities from the public and private sectors together to discuss wide-ranging issues that impact our 10 counties.”

SPC employs 50 individuals, working for the federally designated metropolitan planning organization, local development district, and economic development district for the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania.

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